Having an ear for what classic tunes could be allows the combo Jazz Sandwich a strange place where covering becomes an artistry and anything can be turned from camp to classic. Working from the motto “ a unique musical outlet to play all things that would get us fired from our other bands,” the group borrows songs from the most unexpected sources, taking Jimi Hendrix classics and TV gameshow theme songs and making them their own. This week, buzz gets a chance to sit down and talk to keyboardist Jesse Brown about the band and their eclectic repertoire before their gig at the Embassy Tavern, Thursday, May 22.
buzz: So what would get you fired from your other bands?
Jesse Brown: Rearranging of pop tunes, for instance. I really like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but I would like to do it my way and start doing weird things with it and changing it. Therefore, I think if the bar didn’t fire you, the rest of the band would.
buzz: Why cover Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” What draws you to that song?
Jesse: I think that somebody brought it up as a tune they’d like to try, so we all thought it would be fun to play. We all have interests in lots of kinds of music, and there’s nothing about Jimi Hendrix that’s more or less like any other kind of music we listen to.
buzz: In that same vein, when you cover something like The Price is Right theme, is there some sort of nostalgia or irony in doing it? Or, do you just think it’s a really good song?
Jesse: Hopefully most people don’t think it’s a really good song. I think it’s funny, in part, and I think it’s fun to play and I think it’s funny for people to hear. Whenever we bust into that tune, especially if we’re playing to a new audience that hasn’t heard us before, it’s funny to watch them all start grooving to it like it’s a real big deal.
buzz: Why cover other artist’s songs?
Jesse: I enjoy, more than covering other people’s material, interpreting [them]. I enjoy coming up with a version of something, whether you’re changing the chords or whether you’re just messing with it…and that’ s creating on some level.

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